Nicol Eyes Ninth CIMB Malaysian Open Title

Last update: 15/08/2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 15 (Bernama) -- Malaysian squash queen Datuk Nicol David is eyeing her ninth CIMB Malaysian Open Championship title at NU Sentral retail mall here next week.

The Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallist is expecting to defend the title that she won last year while world number two Laura Massaro of England is expected to mount a serious campaign.

Top seed Nicol and Laura will both begin their campaigns against qualifiers on Thursday.

The qualifying round of the championship starts on Monday at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil near here.

For the record, Nicol has won the title for seven consecutive times between 2005 and 2011 as well as last year.

The top quarter of the draw has Nicol facing some tough encounters against the likes of Joshnna Chinappa of India and Line Hansen of Denmark as well as Hong Kong's Annie Au and Egyptian Nour El Tayeb.

This top quarter also features another Egyptian, Omneya Abdel Kawy and the prospect of a quarter-final clash between her and Nicol is much anticipated by fans, with the rivalry between the two players going back to their junior days.

World number three Raneem El Weleily of Egypt is in the second quarter (top half) of the draw and she opens her challenge to regain the CIMB title she last won in 2012 with a match against Testi Evans from Wales in their opening round.

Meanwhile, Sarah Janes Perry of England can expect a stiff fight when she faces Egypt's Nouran Ahmaed Gohar. The winner of this match will play either Malaysia's national number two, Low Wee Wern or another Egyptian, Heba El Torky.

In the top quarter of the lower half, England's Alison Waters will play local wildcard Delia Arnold. A win would see Alison play American Amanda Sobhy. Jenny Duncalf of England will play against Camille Serme from France.

In the last quarter of the draw, Ireland's Madeline Perry will play Australian Donna Urquhart and England's Emma Beddoes could meet Massaro in the second round if both of them make it past the qualifier.

In the men's category, world number three Mohamed El Shorbagy of Egypt will start against Malaysian Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan in the main draw. In the quarterfinal, the winner of this match will play Stephen Coppinger of South Africa or a qualifier.

Local favorite Ong Beng Hee will begin his match against Tarek Momen of Egypt. Fourth seed Karim Abdel Gawad from Egypt will take on Hong Kong's Leo Au in the first round.

Malaysia's wildcard entrant Ivan Yuen will play Olli Tuominen of Finland and the winner is set to play against second seed Borjan Golan of Spain or Mohammed Abouelghar from Egypt.

-- BERNAMA